No, he didn’t die. He just goes away for large swaths of time as soon as the forsythias start their yellow bloom season up north here until the crimson leaves begin to fall into the local waterways. Then he “comes back to life” again when I need him to keep me warm when the snow flies, that’s all. Such is the life of a kayaking widow!
For those of you who have taken a break from reading your cereal box and picked up your beloved’s issue of Canoe News* instead, this one’s for you! You may or may not be a paddler and that is o.k. If you are not a RACER, however, and HE IS then you are invited to join me in this paper support group! We are not alone! (He does eventually come home to sleep and eat, right?) I mean, I understand girlfriend.
So we must stick together, you and me, and figure out alternatives to dreamy picnics in the park with our men. It probably won’t happen. Our guys are either out fulfilling the requirements of their United States Canoe Association (USCA) membership or too tired and sore from the workout the day before to take a walk on the local Prairie Path on a Sunday afternoon. “Would you massage my back?” is more likely heard than, “the moonlight sure is lovely reflected in your hair tonight.” But I digress. Just focus on the other scenic benefits of being married to an athlete if ya know what I mean? J
And try these tips to get past the USCA Nationals in August at least!
- Go shopping. Spend wisely and no more than the amount he has invested in paddling gear.
- Try a recreational race if you can paddle some; offer to take pictures of the event or help out if you prefer not. Kids can come too if desired. He will love you for taking an interest in his sport.
- Leave a note of encouragement in plain view for your man to find as he makes his way out the door on race day before the rooster crows. Add food. Lots of food.
- Plan regular events of your own either alone or with like-minded “widows.” There a lot of us out there, left behind from various endeavors requiring testosterone. Pick ones that require lots of estrogen to enjoy.
- Eat chocolate and don’t share with anyone.
- Look busy when he comes home yet be sure to greet him from upwind.
Surely there are a virtual bevvy of strategies for us land-lovers as I am only getting started here. Actually I was a fan of boating under power when I met my River Bear. What happened? Who knows but her name might be “Stella(r)” or something like that! I would love to hear from you ladies (and possibly widowers?) with your best tips on making the most of the paddling season.
Until then, gardening anyone? JJ
*Published in the Summer 2017 issue of Canoe News